In front of Koreans

By: goodislove

Jun 28 2011

Category: With friends


Focal Length:6.2mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

Note: This post includes references to photo-taking stereotypes of different cultures.

A while back a friend pointed out how many Koreans and a number of Asians make the peace sign when they are in photos. I agreed that it was pretty funny and added it to my repertoire of poses (alongside the Irish handstand, Guatemala face, slightly off Canadian face, and Egyptian air guitar time).

Photo-taking often goes like this:

Kyle in front of something – ‘Okay, here we go!’ – ‘Big smile aaaand peace sign’ – ‘Haha, that was great. They really do do that.’ – ‘Ha ha, thanks for taking that photo.’ – ‘Ha, ha, now all of your friends will know you were there as indicated by your presence in that rad photo with the peace sign.’

On this particular day I found myself in a hot air balloon with a Korean couple. They were tittering the entire flight and taking photos of each other as we lazed through the morning air. We swapped cameras throughout the trip trying to get photos of our round heads juxtaposed with the other round balloons in the background. We exchanged roughly 25,473 smiles during our flight and looked to each other for reassurance as we landed.

At the landing ceremony the couple asked me to take a photo with them, which was really nice – the idea that I might turn up in their honeymoon photos that they share with friends back home. I replied in kind and we all held up the peace sign as Al took our picture. I thought it was funny, but afterward I felt funny.

Here I stand in this photo making light of my new friends’ tendency. They just wanted to share a photo with me. He had foppish hair and big glasses; she was slim and cute. They had on translucent rain jackets in limited edition colors and Nike Air Max shoes, the collectable ones, not the actual runners.

And I made friends with them and then in a final act, I betrayed them, held up that peace sign and smiled for the camera.


Note: I hope it’s okay if I use this picture of my friends. I should have gotten their names.


2 comments on “In front of Koreans”

  1. Did you know that in some cultures, giving the peace sign in the manner your man friend is giving it is considered to be similar to giving the middle finger?

    By giving the camera the back of his hand for the peace sign, he’s giving you the big FU

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